Health Effects of Dietary Exposure to Pesticides
This collaborative project of The Organic Center and Professor Lu of Harvard University will examine the health effects associated with dietary pesticide exposure through meta-analysis of currently published data. This research is critically needed; while research studies are increasingly finding pesticides negatively affect human health, public awareness of these findings is low because there are no recent reviews analyzing and summarizing available information.
Although many scientific journal articles have reported adverse health effects related to low-level chronic exposure to pesticides, due to the narrow scope of these studies, many people are still confused about the benefits of avoiding pesticides in food. Most studies focus on one specific chemical or food type, which can lead to difficulty in making broad generalizations about the safety of foods with pesticide residues. Additionally, the narrow scope of these studies makes them more difficult to communicate to the public because connecting them to people’s everyday lives can be challenging.
This project will tie together information from previous publications, creating a meta-analysis that incorporates information from a multitude of different pesticide types and exposure levels. We will use the abundance of narrow-scope research on health effects of pesticide exposure to build a model that can be applied to a wide range of food choice situations. In addition to our research, will will communicate our findings with the public to ensure understanding and increase awareness around the issue of pesticide risks.